When Is Autism NOT A Gift?

When Is Autism NOT A Gift?

Few things are more surreal to the parent of a severely autistic child than the neurodiversity rhetoric that recently culminated in Steve Silberman’s book NeuroTribes: The Legacy of Autism and the Future of Neurodiversity . To call the disorder that has left our children with profound impairments in cognition, communication and behavior a “strange gift,” as Silberman does, is truly mind-boggling. No one is contesting the achievements of the “scruffy geniuses” Silberman profiles in his book, or denying that they should be celebrated. The question is whether a comprehensive, 480-page account of “The Legacy of Autism” should have devoted more space to those...

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